|The Rushden Echo, Friday 19 March 1915, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier - 'Tons of earth fell into our dinner!'
Writing to thank the editor for sending a copy of the "Rushden Echo" Private A Smith (Rushden), of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, says:- "At present things are very dull - nothing doing. You simply go in the trenches for a couple of days, fire a few shots, and come out again for a few days' rest. Of course, there is danger in going in and coming out, owing to the stray shots which come over the trenches, and of course while you are in the trenches you have a very unpleasant time, as the enemy sent plenty of shells. For instance, the other day my chum and I were sitting by the side of the gun, just going to have some dinner, when a burst from one of the German trench-mortars dropped just in front of the trench, throwing up tons of earth which filled up our dinner with mud. So you see it is not all honey, and there is still plenty of mud in the trenches".
Rushden Soldier Unofficially Reported Missing
This (Friday) morning a telephone message received at the "Rushden Echo" office announces that Private Arthur Smith (Rushden), of the 2nd D.C.L.I. is missing. His sister sent him a parcel a week ago and this morning a letter containing the amount of postage on the parcel (1/4) was sent to Miss Smith from the front and by the next post the parcel was returned. On it was a black cross and the words "No Battery." It is believed that this may mean that the battery to which Pte Smith belonged has been wiped out. We sincerely hope this is not the case.
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 2 April 1915, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier Killed - Private Arthur Smith - A Victim of the War - The Sympathy of the King and Queen
Mr Smith, of 28, Crabb street, Rushden, received the sad news on Tuesday evening that his son, Private Arthur Smith, No. 9099, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, has been killed in action. Ominous news reached us a fortnight ago, when a telephone message received at the "Rushden Echo" office announced that Private Arthur Smith was missing.
His sister (Miss Smith, of the Angel Hotel, Wellingborough) sent him a parcel a week before that, and on March 19th a letter containing the amount of postage on the parcel (1/4) was sent to Miss Smith from the front and by the next post the parcel was returned. On it was a black cross and the words "No battery." From this communication the worst fears were entertained by his friends.
The sad intelligence was conveyed to the parents of the deceased soldier in the following terms:- "Infantry Record Office, Exeter, March 29th, 1915 - It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has this day been received from the War Office, notifying the death of No. 9099, Private Arthur Smith, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, which occurred with the Expeditionary Force in France on March 14th, and I am to express to you the sympathy and rgreat of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was: Killed in action." Enclosed with this official intimation was a note:-
"The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of His Majesty and the Queen in your sorrow. - Kitchener."
The deceased soldier would have been 22 years of age had he lived a few days longer, until March 25th. Before entering the Army, which he did at an early age, he worked for Mr W. W. Smith, farmer, of Leamington House, Rushden. The late Private Smith had served just over six years with the Duke of Cornwall's L.I. He would have finished his six year's service last Christmas and then have had six years as a reservist had not war broken out. His papers were already signed, but the outbreak of hostilities, of course, prevented his return to civilian life. The deceased had his training at Bodmin, Cornwall, and was then removed to Gravesend for about twelve months. He was sent to South Africa, and from there to China, returning in due course to England. In December last he was sent to the front with his regiment, and one of his first pieces of work was to act as escort to a number of German prisoners who were being brought to England. This duty performed, he returned to the front, there to sacrifice his life for his King and country.
The painful intelligence of the death of her brother was communicated to Miss Smith by telephone by a member of the "Rushden Echo" staff.